Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – There is a Bomb in Gilead – album review

Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires – There is a Bomb in Gilead (AliveNaturalSound)
LP / CD / DL
Available now

Sample some of the sweet soul sounds of the deep south with this album of acoustic and americana from Lee Bains III and Glory Fires. 

Well, I never in a November of nine pound hammers if, yet again, one of the greatest labels in the world has unearthed an absolute sweet seething treasure for you to burn your tits, toes n’ teeter off to over the summer strummin’ months.

Mix the facets of an Alabama-based band recording in Mississippi then heading north to mix it up in Michigan with the label’s very name and you may garner some sense of the boogie-strewn Southern soul-encrusted stench fuelling up along miles of highways and ”˜awww shucks’ heartaches on this debut.

Sure, first album in ”“ despite past band histories – but already lifers, garrulously swigging generations of eternal gospel groove from way before their time, already shrouded in the slovenly / strident shimmy The Stones and The Faces occasionally got so right, jamming out the big city blues for pastures familiar and fret-worn but also un-faked and unaffected, if not fresh-faced.

So no mere upstart saps sumptuously furnished with a miss-spent grandiosity that fell out of Neil Young’s gurn sometime in the late seventies (or at anytime aside from Crazy Horse’s second, but anyway, that’s another song), absolutely no west-coast blandity is found among the cracked humour and literate asides.

Instead they gloriously condense into their crevices of Creedence chooglin’, nay shoehorn ”“ let’s get with the scenery ”“ almost the greatest bits of what The Black Crowes excelled at for five minutes before they descended into too-comfortable slack-jawed interminable bilge.

Between the back-porch balladry ”“ perhaps best summed up in aptly titled Righteous, Ragged Songs but not bypassing the achingly steel-guitar addled Reba, deservingly redolent of Gram Parsons ”“ that spread out from majestic psych-tinged opener Ain’t No Stranger, there’s equally ragged and so so right bar-brawlers like the raucous Scorchers’ blast of Centreville, each n’ every equally ladled with some subtle lyrical flourishes and guitar weavery.

No slouches by Grand Canyon stretches but the way they effortlessly shrug these songs off like an old jacket just adds to its immense status as a sweltering’ slab of natural soul sound.

All words by Stu Gibson. More by Stu can be found here.


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